Ireland set to make Test splash when sun appears

14 May, 2018, 00:23 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Deutrom revealed the capacity for the match is 6,300 – it will be 8,500 for the T20s against India next month with further temporary stands erected

Having lost a battle against the elements on Friday, Ireland's first ball as a Test nation took place with the sun shining and under clear skies.

There was drama at a sun-drenched Malahide even before the wickets fell, with Pakistan debutant Imam-ul-Haq injured off the first ball of the match.

And Ireland claimed their sixth wicket, with only 159 on the board, when Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed was caught at second slip to become Thompson's second victim.

Non-striker Imam, in scrambling to complete the run, found himself sandwiched between wicket-keeper Niall O'Brien and Tyrone Kane in a heavy collision.

The 22-year-old was left flat on the ground and needed treatment on the field, but the nephew of Pakistan selection chief and former captain Inzamam-ul-Haqrecovered to bat.

After Pakistan had declared their first innings on 310/9, Ireland were skittled out for 130 before replying solidly in their second innings as they were 64/0 at stumps.

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"I don't want to go round with a massively long face projecting misery, because it isn't, we are still hugely proud, there are still four days left in the match and, who knows, in the record books it may say we took the game to the fifth day", he said.

Eventually Ireland were bowled out after facing only 47.2 overs in their first innings with Abbas the pick of the Pakistan bowlers with 4-44 in 11 overs while leg-spinner Shadab Khan finished 3-31.

Ireland's historic first Test wicket was actually Rankin's second in Tests though, his first came in his solitary England Test appearance against Australia in Sydney, during the 2013/14 Ashes. Last time, Pakistan enforced a follow-on was against New Zealand in Lahore in 2002.

Ed Joyce and William Porterfield's unbroken stand of 64 moved the Irish to within 116 of Pakistan's total.

Asad Shafiq had looked at ease until he pulled a delivery from Rankin straight to Andrew Balbirnie at square leg to depart for 62 and leave Pakistan five down.

"Boyd Rankin also played a part in Ireland's revival, the 6' 8" opening bowler making 17 from 50 balls and hanging around for 54 minutes before becoming Abbas's fourth wicket of the innings. Paul Stirling, with the match ball raised high in his right hand after a sharp catch, was hailing the noisy supporters at the Malahide Castle end of Test cricket's newest venue. At this moment, umpires had to stop the play due to bad light.

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